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Is 1GB VRAM really enough?

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June 30, 2011 8:28:18 PM

I understand this is a pretty common question but I will be running games on a 1920x1080 resolution and I wanted to know if you guys think 1GB of vram will be enough in the future? From what I have heard the only reason to get more than 1GB of vram is if you want to run multi-monitor, a really high resolution or you are downloading really big texture packs that eat up vram.

Thoughts?

More about : 1gb vram

a c 214 U Graphics card
June 30, 2011 8:35:35 PM

At 1920x1080 you really can't do any better than a 1G card.Yes getting a 2G card or more may help a little bit but the performance difference is minimal.

What games are you playing? I'll look up some benchmarks and show you the difference.
June 30, 2011 8:39:39 PM

Well, most new games tbh. Could you get some benchmarks of the games that supposedly run better with 2GB like Shogun 2, Dragon Age 2 & Crysis 2?
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a c 214 U Graphics card
June 30, 2011 8:59:44 PM

Couldn't find many benchmarks out their for this type of situation but this one should work.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4137/amds-gtx-560-ti-coun...

Can't find any specific benchamrks releating to shogun 2 to show you the difference between the 1G and 2G but in that benchmark i posted above you can see the difference between a 1G and 2G version with an increased resoultion.As you can see from it you need to be beyond 2500x1600 for anything more than 1G to really shine.
June 30, 2011 9:01:32 PM

yea, 1GB is good up to about 1920x1080. any higher than that and you will need more vram. 2GB will definitely help and 1920x1080 tho (as long as the other parts of the card are good enough)
a b U Graphics card
June 30, 2011 9:07:52 PM

ok Im running crysis 2 at 1080p, once you turn on ultra, dx 11, high res textures, msi afterburner is reporting a mem usage of just over 1200MB. I think the setting that makes the mem usage jump the most is the dx 11 toggle.
June 30, 2011 9:13:40 PM

That's fine, I don't mind turning down some settings on a game as demanding as Crysis 2 anyway, I don't expect to play it on the highest settings,

Them benchmarks were helpful too :D 
a b U Graphics card
June 30, 2011 9:15:32 PM

r3xx3r said:
yea, 1GB is good up to about 1920x1080. any higher than that and you will need more vram. 2GB will definitely help and 1920x1080 tho (as long as the other parts of the card are good enough)

Once again this is not factually correct. There is almost no performance gain with 2GB vs. 1GB of memory at 1080p:
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/331?vs=293
a b U Graphics card
June 30, 2011 9:25:29 PM

browsingtheworld said:
Once again this is not factually correct. There is almost no performance gain with 2GB vs. 1GB of memory at 1080p:
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/331?vs=293

Unfortunately, they didn't list hardly a single benchmark that would demonstrate the difference between 1GB and 2GB VRAM. To answer OP, 1GB will get you by at 1080p, but it's not enough for a lot of games coming out today. At 1080p: Starcraft 2, Crysis, Crysis Warhead, Metro 2033, etc all beg for more than 1GB at 1080p. (these are just the titles I own; I don't know about Crysis 2 DX11, but the DX9 beta didn't need 1GB) And that's just today, so I would strongly recommend against getting a card with less than 2GB for 1080p gaming.
a b U Graphics card
June 30, 2011 9:50:41 PM

cuecuemore said:
Unfortunately, they didn't list hardly a single benchmark that would demonstrate the difference between 1GB and 2GB VRAM. To answer OP, 1GB will get you by at 1080p, but it's not enough for a lot of games coming out today. At 1080p: Starcraft 2, Crysis, Crysis Warhead, Metro 2033, etc all beg for more than 1GB at 1080p. (these are just the titles I own; I don't know about Crysis 2 DX11, but the DX9 beta didn't need 1GB) And that's just today, so I would strongly recommend against getting a card with less than 2GB for 1080p gaming.

The benchmark is between the 1GB 6950 and the 2GB version. It shows that the performance is almost identical between the two cards even though one has double the VRAM and that there is only a difference at 2560x1600.

SC II :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol: 
a b U Graphics card
June 30, 2011 10:07:59 PM

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4137/amds-gtx-560-ti-coun...

At the settings used in the test, there was no real difference in 1080P...(at 2560x1600, the 1gb card had a ~30% lower min framerate in at least one game)

Given the minor cost difference, I'd simply opt for the 2gb version of the 6950 and then not need to worry about it...
a b U Graphics card
June 30, 2011 10:35:56 PM

browsingtheworld said:
The benchmark is between the 1GB 6950 and the 2GB version. It shows that the performance is almost identical between the two cards even though one has double the VRAM and that there is only a difference at 2560x1600.

SC II :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol: 

I saw that, what I meant to say was that their benches at 19x10 and 19x12 were horribly inappropriate for demonstrating the difference between the cards(high instead of ultra/maxed settings, no/low aa) Obviously 1GB is (and will be for sometime) plenty of VRAM for running games at 1080p, no question. But if you're planning to max out setting on games with high res textures and complex models with advanced AA, 1GB is not for you.
a b U Graphics card
June 30, 2011 10:45:17 PM

cuecuemore said:
I saw that, what I meant to say was that their benches at 19x10 and 19x12 were horribly inappropriate for demonstrating the difference between the cards(high instead of ultra/maxed settings, no/low aa) Obviously 1GB is (and will be for sometime) plenty of VRAM for running games at 1080p, no question. But if you're planning to max out setting on games with high res textures and complex models with advanced AA, 1GB is not for you.

The higher the graphical quality the more stress on the GPU. At lower resolutions and lower settings the load shifts to the CPU. Benchmarks for video cards should stress the video card instead of the CPU so these tests are a much better assessment of the GPU than tests at lower settings.

Can you find me any video card with 1GB VRAM that can run Witcher 2 on high with ubersampling? The high resolution textures that use more memory don't come without a performance loss.
a c 171 U Graphics card
June 30, 2011 10:48:07 PM

I guess the question is, do you want to take the risk that 1gb will be enough for future games...... once that 1gb framebuffer runs out it spills into system memory, slowing things down considerably. You may have to turn down some texture settings or decrease resolution slightly for future games. If your thinking of a 1gb or 2gb 6950, then just get the 2gb, it doesnt cost that much more.
a c 214 U Graphics card
June 30, 2011 10:51:58 PM

^I agree.

Although their is minimal difference between the 1G and 2G cards it's always good to have that extra 1G just in case.And it's only about $20 more so why not.
a b U Graphics card
June 30, 2011 10:54:12 PM

It wont make a difference ~95% of the time, heres a read: http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/AMD/HD_6950_1_GB/1.h...

With the exception of ubersampling and (insert large number here)x(fancy letters)AA, 1GB would be plenty for 1080p. Though with the 6950 you'll probably start to run out of GPU power instead of vRAM in most cases.
a c 105 U Graphics card
July 1, 2011 1:48:25 AM

even a1680x1050 I ran short in the vram area, especially when you turn up the goodies. This was a couple of years ago. A lot of people complained about my thoughts saying 1gig was no good. You can't go by the numbers because they don't show actual usage just automated benchmarks. Can't tell anything from running those. Real ( human usage ) is the only way to get a "feel" for how they perform. The poster that says there's no difference between 1gig and 2gig ( benchmarks ) is only partially correct. The extra vram has NOTHING to to with providing more frames per second.....extreme high res 2500+ is exception so to speak. The extra ram makes the games more playable at lower res'.( 16-1900, etc. ) I wouldn't touch a card with 1gig anymore. Now, with Dx11 and tessellation there's more demand on your card. As much as some "pros" disagree with me I have to scoff.............
a b U Graphics card
July 1, 2011 2:58:11 AM

swifty_morgan said:
Now, with Dx11 and tessellation there's more demand on your card. As much as some "pros" disagree with me I have to scoff.............

You're absolutely right, and I don't know why people do the disservice of insisting that 1GB is a proper amount of VRAM for an enthusiast build.
a b U Graphics card
July 1, 2011 3:05:48 AM

If you want to talk about tessellation performance look at Civ 5 which runs much better on nvidia cards than AMD cards, even the 6000 series.
a c 171 U Graphics card
July 1, 2011 4:23:07 AM

^yeah, then look at f1 2011, which runs super crap on Nvidia cards.....if you want to cherry pick things. It doesnt mean nvidias cards are crap, it just means the game is using rendering methods that nvidia cards dont cope well with. Just like your cherry picked civ5 example. Ill go back again to when i got my 640mb 8800gts, people told me i was an idot, 320mb was enough, your wasting your money etc.....until a year later when 320mb was no longer enough.
a c 105 U Graphics card
July 1, 2011 5:53:07 AM

how do the cards compare in crysis2, metro 2033, BBC2,........... STOP already!
a c 171 U Graphics card
July 1, 2011 6:08:06 AM

^all the above games at 1080p 1gb or 2gb there is no difference.
"More evidence that VRAM is much less important than how fast the GPU is." yes, until it runs out of vram then it takes a pretty sharp turn down hill when it spills over to system memory.

Quote:
From Hardocp - However, this graph doesn’t tell the whole story about gameplay. In the case of the AMD Radeon HD 6950 2GB video card, we were able to play this game with Transparency Antialiasing enabled at 4X AA. The 1GB Radeon HD 6950 1GB video card struggled when we enabled Transparency Antialiasing at 8X and 4X AA. The limitations of the memory capacity were realized once we enabled this higher mode of alpha texture antialiasing at this resolution with at least 4X AA. This made the 2GB Radeon HD 6950 have an overall higher gameplay quality setting and experience, when you factor in real-world gameplay ability and headroom.
link > http://www.hardocp.com/article/2011/02/24/amd_radeon_hd...
a b U Graphics card
July 1, 2011 6:45:57 AM

iam2thecrowe said:
^all the above games at 1080p 1gb or 2gb there is no difference.

It doesn't make a difference in Metro 2033 according to you.

The 6950 (either model) can't max out Metro 2033 right now at 1920x1080. Do we expect the 6950 to max out newer and even more demanding games that does use more VRAM when it can't max out a current game? These new DX11 features come at the cost of processing power, not just VRAM.

The games that it can power through (BC2, FB1.5 engine for example) will only use up more than 1GB of VRAM at extreme resolutions or extreme anti-aliasing levels (16X, 32X).
July 1, 2011 8:28:35 AM

I went for the 560 Ti purely as it was £50 cheaper ($90?) and have read through many forums and have seen that vram really isn't as important as other factors in a card. Sure, if you want to run AA high then go for a 2GB card but a 1GB card will suffice for everything at 1080p. Also, I didn't see the point of wasting my money on a 6950 when I could put that extra £50 towards a card from the next generation, when I will get a 2GB card :D 
a b U Graphics card
July 1, 2011 5:43:29 PM

I'm too lazy to look for it but where does overclocking the memory on a card benefit a person? Does it aid in higher res or does it add fps when running AA? I just bump all the clocks up but I wonder what specifically overclocking the ram may effect more.
a c 171 U Graphics card
July 1, 2011 9:47:18 PM

overclocking ram and gpu both affect the performance. Overclocking one or the other separately will each give an fps boost.
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